Will we survive? I don't think so...
We agree that the most important task for us to take care of is to clear out the tunnel, as a secret way in and out of the keep could become vital. Governor Nighthill wishes us success, and hopes we can rescue the members in sanctuary. Escobert has the key, he's a red haired shield dwarf.
We find Escobert, who has an enormous keyring with many keys. He's yelling about getting water to soldiers, and we tell him we need the key, and ask if he's ever been in the tunnel. He hasn't, as the door has been blocked since before he became keymaster, but he gives us the key, and tells us how to get to it. The key is very large and very brass.
We find our way to the storeroom, and true to the dwarf's word, the door is behind some stacked boxes, which we move out of the way. The brass key fits, and the door swings open.
A stream runs down the hallway into a grate where we entered it. We shuffle into the hallway.
Towards the end of the tunnel is another grate, and it looks rusted. Near it are two dirt mounds, with some scratching noises coming from them.
The correct answer is always a firebolt.
Rats come streaming out of the two mounds, swarming us. Luke is swarmed and gets knocked down, and in the confusion Alissa ends up dousing herself in oil. I fire some firebolts, which seem to do a good job of dispersing them, although Alissa gets some really lucky shots in too.
The rats scurry back into holes in the wall, and Shale stabilizes Luke and carries him back into the storeroom where we had just entered.
We rest, and Luke is feeling much better, when we hear some noises coming from above in the keep.
We rush up the stairs to find chaos. Shouts about the blue dragon attacking again, so we head up with the defenders to the parapets on the top of the keep.
The blue dragon swoops down, and we fire everything we have at it. Many commoners are knocked down or killed outright, but more stream onto the parapets with us to try to beat it back.
The blue dragon swoops down several more times, and it seems barely wounded, but then it just flies off. The villagers cheer, but then is the grim task of helping getting the wounded and dying off of the parapets.
We had back into the tunnel, and Alissa inspects and opens the far gate using the brass key. She gestures for us to wait, and scouts ahead, before returning and indicates that there are two cultists and six kobolds patrolling. We should be able to avoid fighting them, if we wait just a little bit.
We find the temple where survivors were reported, and we watch from some bushes.
Raiders have the temple surrounded, and it looks like they have recently started attacking it with a battering ram, with a group of kobolds, two normal cultists, and a more important cultist It's not looking good.
We go around to the other side of the temple. In the back is a slightly smaller group, who seems to be trying to set the back door on fire, without too much luck, although they're managing to make a lot of obscuring smoke.
There's also a larger group that is yelling and screaming and running around the temple, apparently ready to burst into the temple as soon as one of the entrances is breached.
We come up with a plan. Actually, we come up with several, but eventually we come up with a plan where Alissa will disguise herself as a cultist, and lead the group running around the temple off, with claims of breaching the keep.
So Alissa dons the robes, and runs off. Hopefully she will return quickly, as they won't force her to come with them. They do, and later needs to use inspiration to sneak away after rolling a natural one.
Alissa doesn't return quickly. We had planned on assaulting the group on the front, as the door didn't look like it could take much more from the battering ram, but changed our minds when another kobold reinforced it.
Luke, Shale and I attack the back, and manage to kill all the kobolds and cultists, although I find the smoke hard to hit targets through.
I knock on the door and yell that we're friends. A door opens, and we convince them that we're here to help.
Luke leads the villagers to the river while Shale holds up the back, and I stay with the middle of the group. Shale and the priest close the back door behind them just as the attackers attack. Shale tosses a torch, and sets the door on fire.
All of the villagers make it to the river unharmed, and Shale looks back and sees one of the elite cultists standing in the fiery doorway.
Governor Nighthill thanks us some more. He's still worried about the mill, so we leave again to check it out.
Chad seems to think this should be a "save point". You know, in case we wipe.
We approach the mill. There's some small fires, but it seems mostly unharmed.
Shale and Luke enter, and find some mercenaries. Shale is serious wounded, but we get the doors shut, and Alissa manacles the door shut.
We head back to the keep. Governor Nighthill sent some forces to help deal with the mill, but they're poorly equipped to deal with professional mercenaries.
We're not at the keep long, before Governor Nighthill comes running to talk to us. Someone outside is asking about us. Wants to parley it seems.
We look outside. It's a seven foot creature, with blue scales, wicked claws and a dragon like snout. It beckons, and a woman and several children are shoved forward.
He's feeling generous he says. No need for prisoners, so he'll return them, but only if we do one thing.
He wants a fight. Send our best warrior.
Shale goes out to his doom. The half dragon looks at Shale, its eyes glinting in pleasure. If we agree to its terms, it'll release the three children first, and then the woman after the fight, whether Shale wins or not. If we betray him after the fight begins, the woman's life is forfeit.
Shale shakes hand with the creature, and says honorable creatures should know each other's names, and gives her own.
Langdedrosa Cyanwrath, half dragon of the cult.
The half dragon carries a great sword and a spear, and it draws the great sword. He beckons and the children are released to us.
A large group of kobolds have gathered around, and we are standing outside the keep doors, uncertain.
Shale draws her sword. Shale seems ready.
The half dragon charges, breathing lightning.
Shale crumples, barely avoiding Landrosia's sword. Landrosia, prods Shale with his sword, before walking away. Luke yells out. Does he plan to honor his deal. He waves his hand, and the woman is shoved towards us.
The woman hugs a man, her bother. They're happy she survived.
We take a long rest.
It's a new day.
Governor Nighthill has more to ask of us. He wants to know why they raided this town, if they'll return, how many there are, and where they strike next.
He'll pay us 250 gold a piece if we come back with this information.
He'd also appreciate if we managed to recover any valuables, but he doesn't seem too hopeful about that. It's not as important as getting to the bottom of this mess. And a small group such as ourselves would probably be best suited, which is fortunate, since we already have an interest in the matter.
We follow the trail. It's pretty easy to do, considering the trail is heavily tread with the foot steps of many kobolds and cultists carrying loot.
We come across a young man, resting. He seems to have taken a minor wound, and limps towards us.
He wants to help, as his master was taken, but he's useless. His master is Leosin Erlanthar, a monk of Buradest. He found his masters staff and choker, and his master should be helpful, if we manage to find him. Look for signs of him.
We asks the mans name. Nesim Waladra.
We promise to keep an eye out for him.
We continue on the path of the raiders, through the Greenfields. We're definitely on the right path.
The terrain becomes more rugged with rocky plateaus. We travel along water worn gullies, and tumbled boulders dot the land.
After a few hours of traveling, we see the curl of some smoke.
Alissa goes to investigate, and returns. Oh, yes, there's a small group of kobolds and cultists, and oh yes, they know we're here now. Something about how they were squabbling, and an unlucky rock.
We hide in the gullies, but a bunch of them get close. I put several of the kobolds to sleep with a spell, and the cultists are quickly dealt with. We leave one of the kobolds alive, and while Shale is able to get some information out of it by speaking draconic to it, it's not terribly useful.
It saw the monk, but it also makes another thing clear. Tiamat was its master. Tiamat is...was the dragon god. Tiamat.
Also something about wearing a sock as a hat.